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Midnight Sun

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Quote1 His only choice was to become the devil. And it was us that wanted that of him. Not only that... he was finally freed from hell, but we were going to call him right back into it. Just like you. So I think we ought to let him rest. Quote2
— Levi chooses to let Erwin rest

Midnight Sun (白夜 Byakuya?) is the 2nd chapter of the 21st volume and the 84th chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

As Armin and Erwin lay dying, Levi argues with Eren and Mikasa over who should be given the serum to be revived. When things become aggressive, Eren argues that Armin has done more for humanity in the course of the battle than Erwin. Floch, the surviving recruit, believes that Erwin deserves the second chance. Before further conflict can ensue, Hange, Jean, Connie, and Sasha arrive. Hange holds Mikasa back and comforts her, sharing sympathy with her situation.

When Levi is ready to inject Erwin, Eren reveals Armin's dream to see the ocean. Levi orders everyone to leave. He remembers overhearing Armin's enthusiasm over seeing the ocean, and recalls Kenny Ackerman's final words about people clinging to their dreams. Erwin, in a moment of exhaustion, raises his hand on reflex and away from the needle, to ask his father back in the classroom about investigating the truth. Levi makes his choice.

Bertolt Hoover awakens as Armin's mindless Titan form is generated. He cries out in fear as he is taken and eaten alive while the others watch. Levi explains his choice to his comrades, believing that Erwin deserves his long rest. Hange confirms that Erwin Smith is dead, and the recruits gather around as Armin Arlert emerges from his Titan alive and well.

Summary

Levi assaults Eren

Levi forcefully opposes Eren

Levi, appalled at Eren and Mikasa for suggesting that Erwin be sacrificed, orders them to stand aside so that he can save Erwin. When Eren attempts to bar his way again, Levi loses his patience and strikes Eren, to Mikasa's outrage. Grabbing Levi, Mikasa prepares to threaten him, but is surprised by how weak he is. As Floch, the surviving recruit, tries to convince Mikasa that Levi is right, Eren attempts to sway Levi by reminding him of all of Armin's past contributions in the Survey Corps' struggle against the Titans. Floch, angered, informs Mikasa and Eren of the deaths of their comrades at the hands of the Beast Titan, and informs them how Erwin's suicide plan was what enabled Levi to get close enough to engage the Beast Titan, despite the corner they had been backed into. Floch announces that, after finding Erwin's body after their charge, he had realized that the only way to defeat the Titans would be with someone demonic, like Erwin, and that he will not allow anyone to interfere with Erwin's revival.

Moblit saves Hange

Hange remembers those she would bring back

Before Mikasa can react, she is pulled off of Levi and restrained by Hange, who has just arrived with the rest of Squad Levi. As Levi prepares to inject Erwin with the Titan serum, Mikasa becomes hysterical, and Hange tries to remind her of Erwin's value to humanity. When this does not calm Mikasa, Hange admits that she also has comrades that she wishes to save, but that she has accepted that they must move forward despite how painful their losses are. Levi continues to prepare the serum, but is given pause by Eren, who tells Levi about Armin's dream to see the ocean. Floch restrains Eren and Levi orders everyone to leave.

As he grabs Bertolt, Levi remembers overhearing Armin's enthusiasm over seeing the ocean before the mission, having been sitting behind the three unseen. He recalls Erwin's wish to see the secrets of the world hidden in Eren's basement, before recalling his last conversation with Kenny. As he is about to inject Erwin, Erwin lifts his arm, away from the syringe. Levi is surprised, and watches as Erwin deliriously believes he is back in the classroom, having raised his arm to question his teacher about the apparent certainty that there are no humans beyond the land they know of. As he watches Erwin, Levi recalls his order to Erwin to give up on his dream and go to hell with the Survey Corps' new recruits. As memories of Kenny, Erwin, and Armin continue to plague Levi, he finally makes up his mind.

Bertolt dies

Bertolt Hoover dies

Bertolt awakes to find himself being set upon by a large Titan. Unable to move due to his injuries, Bertolt can only scream in horror as the Titan grabs him.
Armin lives

Armin Arlert lives on

Seeing his former comrades watching from afar, he begs them to come and help him, but quickly realizes from the sorrow on their faces that they are only going to sit by and watch. As the Titan begins to bite down on his head, Bertolt only has time to plead for Annie and Reiner to come and save him, but realistically he knows it is too late for him; a final expletive is cut off as his head is crushed by the back molars.

As Bertolt is devoured by Armin, Floch asks Levi why he chose not to save Erwin. Levi notes that Erwin became a demon just as they had wished, and that he deserves to rest, rather than be brought back into their hellish world. As he watches Armin's Titan, Levi apologizes to Erwin for breaking his promise to kill the Beast Titan, admitting that it will take a bit longer. Hange announces that Erwin has succumbed to his injuries as a saddened Levi watches his Squad go to greet a newly resurrected Armin.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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